For too long, many churches have shied away from talking about Palestinian Christians from the pulpit, but we know that for our faith to be truly alive, we must preach good news to the poor and freedom to the oppressed (Luke 4:18). Sunday November 29, the Sunday after Thanksgiving is the first week of Advent, when Christians around the world focus on Bethlehem, Palestine. It is also International Day of Solidarity for the Palestinian People. The Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center invites congregations to practice solidarity by preaching Palestine on that day. Its goal is to encourage 100 churches to commit to incorporate Palestine into their worship service.Read more
Forty-year-old Shireen Elayan lives on the family farm outside Bethlehem; the family has owned the farm for generations.
She describes the old olive trees planted by her great-grandfather and the almost spiritual relationship many Palestinians feel for their olive trees. “We have a lot of memories, beautiful memories of the harvest time from our childhood,” she says. “Now we take all the children to the land to teach them everything we know about harvesting, making them part of our traditions.”
Webinar - The Near East School of Theology: The Future of a Theological Seminary in a Failing State and a Turbulent Middle East
The Near East School of Theology (NEST), a Protestant and ecumenical seminary located in Beirut, Lebanon, has prepared pastors and lay leaders for its constituent churches for almost 90 years. Trends in theological education – in the Middle East, in the US, and elsewhere – are decreasing, reflecting a larger reality in mainline Protestant church membership. NEST, located in Beirut, Lebanon, is also rooted in its context – a Lebanon that is facing political and economic crises, a resurgence of COVID-19, and most recently, a major explosion that decimated significant parts of the city. Join NEST’s President, Dr. George Sabra, as he discusses all of these factors, and imagines what a future might look like.
You can also make a gift supporting the work of the Near East School of Theology.Read more
by Reem Haddad
The Joint Christian Committee (JCC)* teenagers were far too young to note the forlorn stand of the elderly man standing in the middle of what used to be a stunning century home with high ceilings and archaic roof - the trademarks of a charming old Lebanese house. They rushed by him, stopping only to bestow the usual Arabic greetings required, and continued energetically to the small garden behind the house where a mountain of wood debris, mostly remnants of oak doors, awaited them.Read more
As part of its normalization of ties with the United Arab Emirates, Israel has decided, at least for the time being, not to officially annex the West Bank – and remain with the de-facto annexation already in place. The uproar over official annexation subsided, the international community has breathed a sigh of relief, and the Palestinians remain oppressed under occupation, while Israel continues to establish facts on the ground without paying any price.
In “The Annexation That Was And Still Is”, a new position paper issued today, Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem describes how without formal annexation, Israel treats the West Bank as its sovereign territory, acting unilaterally for decades to establish and perpetuate Israeli control over the area.Read more
This year the Christmas Alert shed light on the importance of restoring a new hope for Palestine amidst the new happenings worldwide that are affecting Palestine. We need new light and hope to come from the hearts of all believers in the Christmas message to encourage churches around the world to act!
Let us all together spread the message of Palestinian Christians around the world!Read more
Seven nurses demonstrated in a public square in Gaza on Wednesday, the 21st of October to protest the withdrawal of their travel permits by the Israeli authorities and the decision by Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem to lay them off. Each one of the male nurses is highly experienced, having worked in the hospital for more than twenty years. It is unlikely that they will be able to find paid employment in Gaza where over half the population are unemployed.
Dear Lord, we bring the situation in Gaza before you again. The people there are hemmed in by the Israeli blockade and are deprived of food, work, medical provisions and most importantly of any hope for the future. We pray for an end to this pitiless blockade. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.Read more
The Israeli government gave its approval to the building of 2166 new settler homes in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, the 14th of October. This move comes less than a month after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed normalization agreements with Israel. In return, Israel had pledged to hold back on its plans to annex large areas of the West Bank.
Oh Lord, our hearts break as we hear that the Israeli government is annexing more land in the occupied West Bank for settler homes. We pray that governments and lawmakers around the world will speak out against this illegal annexation. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayers.Read more
Olive trees know neither religious nor territorial boundaries and bear fruit even under occupation. With the annual olive harvest season commencing, the World Council of Churches (WCC) launches a global initiative this week, highlighting the spiritual, economic and cultural importance of the olive harvest for Palestinian communities, and witnessing to the impact of the occupation.Read more
3rd Thursday Action Alert: Tell Congress to hold Israel accountable for de facto annexation activities
Illegal settlement activity, home demolitions, and restrictions to Palestinian access to vital resources increase despite normalization deals and the global pandemic.
Israel has been massively expanding its de facto annexation efforts in recent months, moving ahead with thousands of new settlement units in the occupied West Bank and with home demolitions there and in East Jerusalem. Despite Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s annexation plans supposedly being put on hold after Israel’s normalization of relations with the UAE and Bahrain, de facto annexation continues as the Israeli Defense Ministry body responsible for authorizing settlement construction is slated to advance plans for over 4,400 Israeli homes in the West Bank this month. All of Israel’s settlements are illegal under international law and settlement construction in occupied territory constitutes a war crime.Read more